Becks & Posh is after my heart. I love champagne. I love sparkling wine. Heck, I just love the bubbles. So it only seems right that I should do this WBW up in style. We hosted a Breakfast Party on Sunday and popped open not one, but two different bottles of champagne. I like to think I met all the challenges on Sunday, from actually cooking, to successfully pairing, to even finding a small Champagne house.
I’ll first bore you with the menu before I get on with it and let you know about the champagne. We served a simple quiche with ham and gruyere cheese (a recipe we picked up in Disney’s France at the EPCOT Wine & Food Festival). We matched that with rosemary-and-olive-oil-tossed red potatoes and an English muffin topped with ice wine jelly. It was all followed by a yummy fruit pizza/pie. (I can cook anything – as long as it involves a pie crust.) The food paired wonderfully with both bottles of bubbly.
Now for the bubbly. We went for a large house and a small one, hopefully meriting some of those extra kudos from Becks & Posh. Our large house – a Vilmart Champagne Grand Cellier Brut, NV, which we purchased from Microwines for $66. Our little guy – Joel Falmet Champagne Brut Tradition, NV, also purchased from Microwines but for $29.99.
Mmm .. mmm… good! We all enjoyed both of the champagnes, but favorites were split evenly between those gathered. With these two champagnes, I think it all depends on your mood.
The Joel Falmet was sort of edgy, considering that it’s "real" champagne. It was almost (but not quite) pink in color, especially when sitting next to the Vilmart. It had a bit more oomph, with some berries peeking out of the flavor. When we purchased the wines, we were told that Joel Falmet was a bit of a rebel. The domaine is located in Cotes des Bar, which is 70 miles southeast of all the big guys. These are the grapes that the large champagne houses use for blending. The domaine produces only about 1200 cases a year of the Brut Tradition, and less than 2000 cases total. This particular champagne is 70% pinot noir, 20% pinot meunier, and 10% chardonnay.
The Vilmart was very light and traditional, with a very pale color
(amidst all the tiny bubbles). It had a delicate taste, very subtle,
almost creamy. This is a traditional champagne, very classy. Vilmart comes from the Montagne de Reims and was founded in 1872. It was founded by a man named Desire Vilmart. How can someone named Desire not make a good champagne? The domaine is still in the family. I read somewhere that Vilmart is considered "the poor man’s Krug." The champagne is aged in new French oak and is comprised of 70% chardonnay and 30% pinot noir.
If you were paying attention, you noticed that the two champagnes are composed of opposite amounts of different grapes – most notably pinot and chardonnay.
Here’s the thing – if you’re in the mood for a really fun champagne that is still of high quality, yet affordable, go for the Joel Falmet. It rates a full from us.
If you’re in the mood for something more traditional and classy, and you want to drop over $50, search out the Vilmart. It also scores a .
I’d buy either one again and I think they were both worth their dollar, something I haven’t found much of lately.
Oh, and Breakfast Parties? Lots of fun! No one has had a chance to have a bad day yet. I highly recommend it.
UPDATE: Sam has posted the Wine Blogging Wednesday Roundup over at Becks & Posh. Check it out!
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